Having just finished writing my second book Feet or Fins, I was tempted to leave it like my first book – unsullied by my editing. Which I figured is bound to be bad because I dislike editing and the occasional class where I have done editing I’ve gotten pass grades. But editing is something that I have to do, because I’m too much of a tight arse to pay someone else to do it, and I’m anal about controlling my own word.
It’s a good thing that I did my bachelor’s in creative writing, otherwise I’d never be able to look at my work and say,
‘That is shit, I can make it better.’
Instead I’d look at it and think,
‘It’s kinda good, but if anyone comments and points outs all those mistakes and inconsistencies then I’ll cry alone in my bedroom.’
All those classes of writing multiple creative pieces, again after again and then editing by myself followed by my teachers and them telling me what is wrong with it and what I can do to improve on it, has really made me toughen up. I can handle people looking at my work and criticising it. Instead of being offended, I’m being proactive about it.
But I still don’t like editing. I’ve just come out of a long mental process of writing down my story, and now I have to go all the way back to the beginning and start again. And it doesn’t matter if I beginning my editing halfway through the document, it’s still the beginning.
Not only that, but in my most recent editing class I had to learn about all these grammar rules that I didn’t even know existed. Granted, some of them are easy and you can pick it up on your own, but some of them are small, hard to find and make all the difference. Then I’m doing another editing class that follows my old one and this is about structural editing, which is again different.
Then once you think you’ve managed to barely grasp at the straws dangling above you, you find out that the editing and grammar rules are different depending on what field of writing you’re in. For example; editing for newspapers is different to publishing house (where they each have their own house style), which is different to technical writing, which is different to scientific writing, which is different to academic writing.
I figured I’d just wing it when it came to my work. If it makes sense when read aloud then it’s edited correctly.